This has not made the mainstream yet (unless you count NPod) - but it is about to be wheeled out. It's an argument that concedes that the Iraq war thus far has been a disaster - but that it can be rescued by a missile attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Imagine how the president would respond to this line of argument. Now imagine it coming, as it will, from Cheney:

All the damaging consequences of all the blunders the President has committed to date in Iraq are reversible in 48 to 72 hours - the time it will take to destroy Iran's fragile nuclear supply chain from the air. And since the job gets done using mostly stand-off weapons and stealth bombers, not one American soldier, sailor or airman need suffer as much as a bruised foot.

Let's look downstream the day after and observe how the world has changed.

First and foremost, there's this prospective  fait accompli -- and it changes everything. The Iranians are no longer a nuclear threat, and won't be again for at least another decade,  and even that assumes the strategic and diplomatic situation reverts to the status quo ante and they'll just be able to pick up and rebuild as they would after an earthquake. Not possible.

Next, the Iranians would do nothing -- bupkes.

They don't attack Israel, they don't choke off the world's oil supply, they do not send hit squads to the United States, there is no "war" in the conventional sense of attack counterattack. Iran already has its hands full without inviting more trouble. Its leaders would be reeling from the initial US attack and they would know our forces are in position to strike again if Iran provokes us or our allies. They would stand before mankind with their pants around their ankles, dazed, bleeding, crying, reduced to bloviating from mosques in Teheran and pounding their fists on desks at the UN. The lifelines they throw to the Iraqi insurgents, Hezbollah and Syria would begin to dry up, as would the lifelines the double-dealing Europeans have been throwing to Iran. Maybe the Mullahs would lose control.

I suspect that every word of the last paragraph should be taken with the same level of seriousness as the notion in 2003 that there would never be an insurgency in Iraq.

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